Leaders of Richmond Community College and UNC Pembroke signed a dual enrollment agreement on May 16 that will make earning a four-year degree easier for RCC’s students.
Students enrolled in the community college’s associate degree programs will be able to enroll simultaneously in UNCP. The agreement paves the way for a seamless transfer of course credits to UNCP. A “reverse transfer” clause will allow students who transfer to UNCP prior to completion of the associate degree the opportunity to transfer credit from UNCP to RCC in order to complete both degrees in the most efficient way possible.
The agreement is a first of its kind for both institutions. UNCP is reaching out to the community colleges in the region, and RCC, which draws students largely from Richmond and Scotland counties, is a favorite partner of the university. RCC President Dale McInnis and Chancellor Kyle R. Carter promised further cooperation in the near future.
“We are very reliant on out relationship with UNCP,” said McInnis, who is a UNCP graduate. “This is a historic day for both the university and RCC. As a partner, I appreciate Chancellor Carter’s vision.”
“We are serious about reducing institutional barriers for students who transfer from community colleges,” Chancellor Carter said. “This agreement is a first for us, and it does not surprise me that it is with Richmond Community College.”
Dr. McInnis said 570 RCC students had transferred to UNCP, according to his records, so removing barriers would be important to the success of many future students.
Many RCC administrators have connections to UNCP, including Vice President for Student Services Saundra Richardson. She led RCC’s planning group. Richardson praised the cooperation of the group, who never lost sight of their goal.
“This agreement is exactly what needs to be done for our students,” said Richardson, who worked in student advising at UNCP. “Everything that is good about this agreement is about students. For them and us, it is the best of both worlds.”
UNCP has an office at RCC that is staffed full time. The university offers several complete undergraduate programs at RCC, including sociology, criminal justice, business administration, elementary and birth-to-kindergarten education and the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies. Graduate programs include the Master of Public Administration and elementary education.
Flexibility is important for community college students, many who work or are seeking full-time work. Many of UNCP’s courses are flexible and offered online and via interactive video.
“This fulfills Chancellor Carter’s vision of working more efficiently in the ‘new normal,’ which is the current and future economic environment,” said Lela Clark, interim associate vice chancellor for Enrollment Management, who led UNCP’s team. “The agreement will make both UNCP and RCC institutions of choice and it will enhance student success for the students from our region who participate.”
Clark said the discussions between RCC and UNCP involved many people representing the offices of Admissions, Financial Aid and Registrar as well as accreditation specialists from both institutions.
Chancellor Carter praised the work of administrators on both sides of the table, saying the agreement would save time and resources of students and institutions. “We’re serious about reducing institutional barriers,” he said. “It also speaks to the nature of our relationship with Richmond Community College which goes back to the 1970s.”
Dr. McInnis said UNCP and RCC will meet again soon to discuss a joint nursing agreement.
“The challenge now is to spread this news to our community partners and especially to our public school partners,” Dr. McInnis said.
Dr. Ken Kitts, UNCP’s provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, summed up for UNCP. “This is a great day for us and a great day for our institutions, but it’s an even better day for our students.”